I just had to do it!! I couldn’t resist not sharing my 1st experience from the West Coast Bimmerfest 2014 held back in May at the Rose Bowl in sunny Pasadena, California. Like a young boy going to his first “dance”, I had no idea what to expect, but when looking back on the event, I was dame sure excited to go!
Just the sheer # of BMW vehicles in attendance was border-line overdose. Mash this overwhelming feeling with a build quality level that was impressive and uniquely West Coast,. Then compliment it all with grass for some high-end hard-parking, and you had a recipe for one of the best Bimmer gatherings in the world.
BMW’s as far as the eye could see packing in every parking lot leading up to the event. There had to be at least 2000 cars in attendance!
This red E 46 M3 and newer white E90 were perfect examples of high quality west coast flare.
After being given the opportunity to team up with some BMW heavyweights such as Bimmerworld, SSF, and VF Engineering at the beginning of the year, we quickly started to dive as deep as we could into the development of new cooling components for the BMW performance aftermarket. VF Engineering was debuting our very 1st production unit high performance oil cooler for the BMW E9x M3.
The perfect mix of performance, fit, and finish to keep the growing number of high performance and tracked S54 engines cool.
Many of CSF’s other BMW partners and dealers were in attendance as well. They were lined up in the enormous vendor area featuring the west coast’s best BMW performance shops and high performance parts manufactures.
As soon as I had walked into the event, I spotted long-time dealer of ours, Vivid Racing, with their striking matte lime green M5… Tastefully loud.
Next, we caught up with GSR Autosport who brought out their all-business, track ready E46 M3 to display their shop’s race-prep capabilities. GSR was one of CSF’s 1st R&D partners way back in 2011 with the development of our 996/986 Porsche side radiators alongside 2013 Formula Drift Champion, Michael Essa, who used to be co-owner of the business.
The fresh air intake built into the driver’s side headlight gives the subtle hint that this Bimmer is ready to run.
A show trend that was quickly noticeable as I started to explore the area was the paring of yellow and Blue BMW’s. These two colored vehicles when placed next to each other were the perfect compliment to showcase the range of BMW tuning machines.
One of the highlight builds at the event was hard-parked outside the Work Wheels both. This fully customized bright white BMW E46 M3 was the perfect blend of power mixed together with fine touches of Euro and JDM style. The lux Voltex aero pieces really set off the custom wide-body kit sitting on an adjustable AirRex suspension system for a neck-breaking combination that had everyone stopping in their tracks.
Back at the VF Engineering both was a trio of E9x M3’s that had been given their supercharger treatment for an extra large dose of insane BMW power. The standout of their display was this custom wide-body coupe in white with and black Kermit green accents.
Upgraded big-break kit from Brembo behind the high end 2-piece wheel kit from Vorsteiner. Life must be nice for this guy!
Platte Forme AG brought out their time attack monster. A custom turbocharged E46 M3 which had just finished it’s 1st year of duty. Finished off with the classic “John Player Classic” golden livery scheme, it has made a big splash in the racing community since it’s debut.
Serious performance parts under the hood to compete with the best of the Global Time Attack Series.
Being my 1st time at this event, I had no idea at how big Bimmerfest was truly going to be. Billed as the biggest BMW gathering on the west coast, it did not disappoint. The cross section and model range of BMWs in attendance showcased all the different eras and styles of BMW tuning culture.
This blue BMW E36 M3 was looking like the poster boy for classic Californian BMW performance. The red center cap BBS Wheels was a commanding touch to the performance under the hood.
How about some layed out BMW saloons spanning the late 80’s and 90s.
There is something just so mysterious and mafia about a stanced piano black BMW saloon like this late 90s 745Li
Several rows of BMWs from the 70’s and 80’s in immaculate condition held down the northern side of the event
A few BMW unicorns were in attendance as well
The BMW Z8 decked out with the Alpina kit was placed solo in the middle of it all… Rightfully so.
This standout blue BMW 8 series was completely redone inside, outside, and under the hood adding a level of modern class and performance to the low production model.
The 1-series came and went quickly with the introduction of the 2-series, but that didn’t stop a large group of US enthusiast who chose to tune the well balanced vehicles for street and track.
BMW Performance was in attendance with their race trailer to add their manufacture credibility and showcase some peak R&D of their applications.
BMW Performance brought out this race-spec wide-body E46 M3 exclusively setup for track use.
Another great aspect of the BMW turning culture is the wagon scene. BMW wagons are by far the best wagon platform for tuning in my opinion. There were plenty of wagons showing off their touring flare.
The tri-color stripe of the M performance badge, typically light blue, royal blue, and red, have really become the most iconic sign of BMW performance. It also has translated well into vehicle liveries and other accents showcasing the performance brand’s legacy.
Performance Techhnic had this pristine engine S54 engine bay topped off with Dinan goodies
European Auto Source (EAS) brought out this perfect condition original 1-Series M to present alongside all of their shop’s newer E46 and E9x M3 builds.
There were a few professional or pro-am builds scattered throughout the vendor area. This Achilles Motorsports E9x M3 was one of our 1st customers for our upgraded S54 oil cooler to help keep it’s oil temperatures under control during demanding driving conditions.
A high performance street tuned but track ready example was more common around the show.
Let’s take a close-up look at some of the attention to details that some of the BMW owners around the west coast encorporate into their builds. The offical MFEST BMW M5 had a twin turbo set-up under the hood, and Oakley sunglass projector bulbs.
An example of the unique California style you wont find anywhere else in the world.
One of the most popular body-kits for the BMW E9x platform, especially the M3 version, has been the wide-body LibertyWalk kit with its huge signature bolt on flares. Supercharger manufacture, ESS Tuning, brought out a few examples of these wide-body beast showcasing some serious power, stance, and grip to highlight the advancement of the E9x tuning platform over the last year. Most of the So-Cal builds for LibertyWalk have taken shape at LTMW, who have blown onto the scene getting known for perfect fitment of the popular wide-body LibertyWalk and Rocket Bunny bodykits.
Midnight purple, LibertyWalk, and BBS wheels on an M3! YES PLEASE!!
ESS and AlekShop brought out this newly finished 1000 HP supercharged matte silver monster.
It was my first time being introduced to other BMW forced induction specialist Gintani. While the ESS and VF Engineering kits go head to head and look very similar, the Gintani kits seemed to be marching to their own beat with a distinct style.
Gintani was debuting a newly designed twin turbo kit for the M3 platform.
Some regard Dinan as the pinnacle of BMW performance. Their fully decked out engine bay on their New M4 was no disappointment showing how the brand is continusinly on the cutting edge of BMW Performance.
Caborn fiber goodness from Dinan.
A couple of art cars lined the lawn like this orange E92 M3 ready for the track with roll cage and Recaro seats.
Luxury Body kit maker Hamann brought out their BMW 6 series to showcase what can be done to the grand touring saloon.
Enthusiast BMWs lined the lawn of the Rose Bowl for as far as the eye could see on a beautiful sunny California day.
One of the best emerging trends in the BMW and Euro scene is the incorporation of JDM flare, especially noticeable in So-Cal. Volk / Rays wheels are becoming increasingly popular on BMWs, and I think they look awesome!
We’ll leave you with this final picture of the gorgeous Kermite green E92 M3 with matching Volk Racing wheels built by Euro specialist parts dealer, IND Distribution.